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March 25, 2002 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-03-25

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4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 25, 2002

Slap shouts
"So many things are rushing through
your head, so many guys are giving
you hugs, punching you in the face. It
was crazy."
- Michigan freshman Milan Gajic describes the
celebration after Saturday's 5-3 win over Denver

43 St. Cloud 2Z
Michigan 4

Michigan 5
Denver 3

Key play
15:13 left in the third
With the Wolverines trailing 3-2, Michi-
gan freshman defenseman Eric Werner cut
to the net, received a pass from forward
Mike Cammalleri and buried a shot top
shelf to tie the game.

The Michigan Daily hockey writers'
picks for Michigan's three stars of the
Jed Ortmeyer
The Michigan junior captain scored the
biggest goal of his career Saturday with
1:21 left in the third period to give the
Wolverines a 4-3 lead and a trip to the
Frozen Four.
Eric Nystrom
The freshman started Michigan's scor-
ig on Saturday early in the second per-
od, then he made a beautiful pass to
set up Ortmeyer's game-winner. He fin-
ished the game with an empty-net goal.
Milan Gajic
The freshman scored the game-winner
in Friday's win over St. Cloud and creat-
ed chances all weekend as neither the
St. Cloud nor Denver defenses could
successfully matchup with him.
NCAA Frozen Four
Thursday, April 4 vs. Minnesota
XCeI Energy Center, St. Paul, Minn.,
7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 6 vs. New Hampshire or
XCeI Energy Center, St. Paul, Minn., 7
Michigan makes a return appearance to ,
the Frozen Four, and the Wolverines will
do a role-reversal from the Regional at
Yost Ice Arena, as they will open the
Frozen Four by taking on No. 2 seed Min-
nesota in St. Paul. If Michigan can pull off
a win in that game, the Wolverines will
move into the championship game against
either New Hampshire or Maine. Michigan
fell to Boston College last season in the
National Semifinals, 4-2.
Michigan 4, St. Cloud 2

Explosive Yost crowd
gives M' late boost

By Naweed sikora
Daily Sports Writer

How much of a factor was the Yost
Ice Arena crowd this weekend?
When St. Cloud's cheerleaders
took the ice Friday before its first
round matchup with the Wolverines,
the crowd began chanting "We want
Molly!" in reference to a St. Cloud
cheerleader who had criticized the
Michigan fans prior to the game.
The crowd was electric, and it paid
off for the Wolverines. The energy
and intensity of the fans played a
huge part in Michigan's come-from-
Chanting and raving
The crowd at Yost during the West
Regional provided the Wolverines
with a major boost of energy and
enthusiasm. It was a big factor in
Michigan's comeback.
"We want Molly" - The chant at
the St. Cloud cheerleader who had criti-
cized the Michigan fans prior to the
"If you can't get into State, go to
Denver" - This version of the tradi-
tional song was adopted Saturday night
when the Wolverines faced Denver.
"Thank you seniors" - The chant
after Michigan senior goalie Kevin
O'Malley began waving the Michigan
flag around the ice after Saturday's win.

behind win Saturday night.
"Our fans were amazing all week-
end," Michigan captain Jed Ortmeyer
said. "It was so loud in here. It just
puts that much more energy into your
After winning a very physical and
emotionally draining game Friday
night, the Wolverines needed some-
thing to give them an extra lift for
Saturday's contest. The crowd
seemed to embrace that role as it
urged its team on and both fed off
each other down the stretch.
When Michigan freshman Eric
Nystrom found Ortmeyer for the
game-winner with just over a minute
to play, Yost began to shake as almost
everyone leaped out of their seats
and began embracing each other. The
noise level was deafening.
The Michigan players on the bench
at the time of the goal erupted into a
frenzy of their own, as they formed a
pile in the center of the bench.
"I was at the gate on the left side,
and I ended up on the gate at the
right side," Michigan freshman
Milan Gajic said. "The crowd went
bonkers. Everybody was up and
chanting, my buddy came to watch
from Burnaby, B.C., and even he was
Said junior John Shouneyia: "I
can't even explain what those guys
were like back there. It was incredi-
Holding up signs that said, "Not in


The Michigan hockey pep band played a major role in getting the Yost crowd excited over the weekend and gave Michigan the
adrenaline rush that it needed to advance to the Frozen Four.

our house" and "We own Yost," the
Michigan fans gave their team the
home-ice advantage that most visit-
ing teams dread.
"(The crowd) generated a tremen-
dous amount of emotional adrenaline
for the home team," Denver coach
George Gwozdecky said. "At times it
was difficult for us to combat."
When the final buzzer sounded,
the Wolverines ran off the bench and
dogpiled their goalie Josh Blackburn
in his crease. Meanwhile, the crowd
began waving two enormous Michi-

gan flags as the noise level continued
to grow.
Once the team's celebration was
over and both sides had shook hands,
the Michigan players stayed out to
thank the crowd. Senior goalie Kevin
O'Malley borrowed one of the flags
from a spectator and began skating
around with it on the ice. The other
players were banging on the glass to
acknowledge the crowd.
Soon after, the crowd began chant-
ing "thank you seniors" and also
broke out in a rendition of "It's great

to be a Michigan Wolverine."
Finally, the Wolverines formed a
circle at center ice and raised their
sticks in the air to salute the crowd.
Back when Michigan decided to
bid for the West Regional at Yost,
there was no guarantee that it would
be part of the tournament. But it was
guaranteed that the crowd would be
"I'm sure (other teams wished they
had bid for the Regional), but I don't
know if they have fans like this,"
Blackburn said.

St. Cloud

1 0 1 -2
3 0 1 -4

Fst pedod- 1. UM, Ryznar 9 (Shouneyia, Mink), 4:09; 2.
SC, Firger 6 (Cullen, Motzko), 5:19 (pp); 3. UM, Murray 7
(Werner),13:20 (pp); 4. UM, GAic 9 (Helminen, Roemensky),
14:21. Penaltes-UM, Woodford(crosscheckirg), 4:52;
SC, Walsh (holdirg), 9:00; SC, Malone (hookiro),11:42; UM,
Muray(boading), 1646;UM, Rgers(interference), 19:25.
Second peiod - No scoring. Penafes - SC, aria
(checkirg from behind), 9:34; SC, Motzko (rotghirg), 12:50;
UM, Vanik (holdirg), 12:50
Thd pedod - 5. SC, Cullen 9 (Motzko, Malone), 4:19(pp);
6. Helnrinen 10 (C~ic), 14:40. Pene- UM, Shouneya
(slashig), :37; SC, Hatigan (deaying the gam~e), :37; UM,
Herrinen (hookirg), 2:19; UM,Vancik (crosschecking), 3:52;
UM, Roemensky (holding), 5:18; SC, Finger (holding), 7:54;
SC, Finger (crosschecking), 7:54; SC, Szabo (high sticking),
Shongoa-UM, 11&67-24; SC, 4140-24.
werP -UM,1of6;Sc,22of6.
Saves-UM, Blackburn-(6000, 22-24); SC, Moreland-
(39:26,12-13), weaser-(20:00, 8-11)
Rekeree-Scott Hanson
Lineseen -Joe Andrews, Bob Bemard
At Yost Ice Arena, Ann Arbor Atendunce:6,948.
Michigan 5, Denver 3


0 3 0 -3
0 2 3 -5

SURVIVING away. Luckily, Hartigan missed an open
Continued from Page 11 In Saturday's game, Komisarek did
Cloud and Denver - to advance to the something that nobody could believe.
Frozen Four. With the Wolverines up 2-1 and on the
But the Wolverines didn't panic about penalty kill, he caught the puck with his
the tough road ahead. "We'll have to beat glove and chucked it across the ice like he
them some time, so it might as well be was trying to gun a runner down at home
now" was their attitude when the seedings plate. The referees had to create a new
were announced. penalty - "throwing the puck" -
And Saturday night, Michigan complet- because they didn't know what to call it,
ed a feat that everyone - except itself - and Michigan found itself two men down.
thought was impossible. In two nights, the Denver scored almost immediately to tie
Wolverines disposed of offensive power- the game at two.
house St. Cloud, 4-2, and No. 1 Denver, 5- At even strength, Michigan was the best
3. The Pioneers won the WCHA regular team on the ice both nights, but it contiiu
season and tournament titles, but were ally committed penalties and gave its
clearly overmatched by the Wolverines in opponents life. Staying out of the box was
5-on-5 action. Denver had been 28-1 this the one thing associate head coach Mel
season, when leading after two periods, Pearson said his team needed to do. The
but its 3-2 lead going into the second Wolverines didn't, and it almost cost them
intermission on Saturday meant nothing dearly, as four of the five goals scored
to Michigan. After the game, even Beren- against them over the weekend were pow-
son admitted that his team knew it was erplay goals.
going to win the game when it stepped on The bottom line is that Michigan was
the ice for the final stanza. never beaten by Denver or St. Cloud this
When forward Eric Nystrom made his weekend. It was constantly beaten by
picture-perfect pass to Ortmeyer for itself. Every time the Wolverines got a
Michigan's game-winning goal, it became lead, they committed a penalty moments
official that this Michigan team will be later, giving their opponent a chance. But
remembered as one of the most successful in Saturday's miraculous third period,
in school history. For the first tine, the Michigan didn't commit one penalty, and
Wolverines won the CCHA regular season it outscored Denver 3-0.
title, the CCHA Tournament champi- This season will never be classified as
onship and advanced to the Frozen Four. anything but a success. The Wolverines
But the fact remains that in both victo- have already exceeded all expectations.
ries this weekend, Michigan nearly gave But teams that win national champi-
the game away because of a lack of disci- onships don't beat themselves with mental
pline and was frankly lucky to escape errors. They force their opponent to make
because of its blunders. mental errors and then take advantage.
Defenseman Mike Komisarek made On April 4, Michigan will be facing off
crucial mistakes in both games that could against Minnesota, another team that
have cost his team the game. In Friday sports an 'M' on its sweater. But judging
night's game, with Michigan up 3-2 in the from the Wolverines' dominant perform-
third period, Komisarek passed the puck ance against the WCHA's best this week-
straight to the Huskies' Hobey Baker end, it seems that the only 'M' that can
Award candidate Mark Hartigan at the beat Michigan is the one each Wolverine
Michigan blueline, which led to a break- sees when he looks in the mirror.

fmt petod - No scoring. Penlies-DU, Caldwell (rogh-
ing), 3:44; UM, Woodford (hit after whistle), 5:35; DU, Greg
(charging, 9:35); UM, Wemer(interference), 12:39; DU,
Adams(crosschecking), 18:55.
Second petled -1. UM, Wstrom 17 (Shamneia, Ortmeyer),
:56; 2. DU, Paradise 22 (JaCes, Caldwell), 3:05 (pp); 3. UM,
Komisarek U (Shouneyia, Ortmeyer), 5:43 (pp); 4. DU, Doell
20 (Ulanski, Cook), 9:16 (pp); 5. Fulghun 5(Bull, MacKen-
zie),12:25. Penalties-UM, Rogers (holding), 2:11; DU,
Neale (charging), 5:37; UM, Ortmeyer (interrernc e),7:14;
UM, Konisaek (throwing the pck), 8:10; DU, Adams (inter-
ference),14:46; UM, Vancik (crosscheckirg),19:27.
Thild perod - 6. Wemer 5(camnalleri), 4:47; UM, Ortmey-
er 15 (Nystrom, Cammalleri),18:39; UM, Nystrom 18 (Cam-
maleri),19:33 (en).
Penlie- None.
Soang-o-M,817-13-38; DU,58--21.
Power Plays - UM, 1of 5; DU, 2 of 6.
S -UM, Blckbn-(60:00,1821); DU, Dubielewicz
Reieree-John avalese
Uneemen-Joe Andrews, Bob Bernard
At Yost Ice Arena,Ann Artbor AtteManxc.:6,933.
Three Wolvedne'S named to
regonal team':
At the close of last night's NCAA West
Regional, the media selected the West
Regional team. Hereare the players who
were named to the squad:
Jed Ortmeyer Forward Michigan
John Pohl Forward Minnesota
Chris Paradise Forward Denver
Mike Komisarek Defense Michigan
Jordan Leopold Defense Minnesota
Josh Blackburn Goalie Michigan
Most Outstanding Player:
John Pohl, Minnesota
Wolvednes head to record 21st
Frozen Four:
With Saturday's 5-3 win over Denver,
Michigan locked up its 21st trip to the
Frozen Four - the highest number of
any program in the country. Michigan's
past Frozen Four appearances:

Michigan freshman Jason Ryznar, who scored Michigan's first goal against St. Cloud Friday night, tries to battle
through the grasp of Denver defenseman Aaron Mackenzie.
Gajic delivers aaimnst Huskies
as Blackbu slamsthedoor

By Chris Burke
Daily Sports Writer
When it comes to playoff hockey, the teams that
find success are usually the same teams that receive
production from every player on their roster.
Michigan put this theory into practice in Friday's
4-2 win over St. Cloud.
While the Huskies were focus- HOCKEY
ing their defensive attention on
stopping Michigan superstars Notebook
Mike Cammalleri, Jed Ortmeyer
and John Shouneyia, freshman Milan Gajic was
leading the Wolverines' third line to two of the
team's biggest goals of the year.
Just 1:01 after Craig Murray put Michigan ahead
2-1 with a powerplay goal, Gajic picked up the puck
behind St. Cloud's net, made a tremendous juke
move to get out front and then beat St. Cloud goalie
Dean Weasler low stick side to put Michigan up 3-1
after one period.
"Milan scored a huge goal," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "You knew one team would get the
edge e'arly. This is our building and we knew this
would be a tough game. We wanted to get off to a
good start."
Then later in the game, after St. Cloud had closed

two periods while the Wolverines were clinging to a
Then in Saturday's 5-3 victory over Denver,
Blackburn closed the door when it looked like the
Pioneers were going to walk through to the Frozen
Blackburn started his run of big saves just under
eight minutes into the first period. With the Huskies
pressing at the end of a powerplay, Blackburn made
two stops during a hectic scramble in front, and then
defenseman Eric Werner batted the puck to the cor-
ner to end the pressure.
After Denver turned up the offensive pressure to
take a 3-2 lead, Blackburn ensured that the Pioneers
would not get any further. With three minutes left in
the second period, Michigan was bombarding Den-
ver goalie Wade Dubielewicz on a powerplay, but as
Denver's Erik Adams came out of the box, he was
hit with a breakout pass at center ice and went in
alone on Blackburn.
The Michigan goalie held his ground and made a
pad save, keeping Michigan within striking distance.
"(The crowd) was so loud (Michigan defenseman
Mike Komisarek) didn't hear me banging my stick,
so the guy came out of the box and just came down
on a breakaway," Blackburn said. "I came out far
and tried to make him make a move."
Afto A;,-.. k.a .ad idth am R khr


1st place; def. Dartmouth, 84
3rd place; lost to Dartmouth, 4-2
3rd place; lost to Boston, 4-3
1st place; def. Brown, 7-1
1st place; def. Colorado, 4-1

' ; '_
., ..., .


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